Marquee Matchups: Bailey Humphrey vs. Reuben Ginbey

THIS year’s National Championships were the first full instalment since 2019, meaning the nation’s best Under 18 draft hopefuls finally got the chance to test their mettle against each other once again. With that came a number of mouthwatering contests between players vying for similar spots on draft boards, amid the pinnacle of their top-age campaigns.

In the return of our Marquee Matchups series, we highlight a pair of prospects who in one way or another, will continue to compete in 2022; comparing their vitals, stats, strengths, and improvement areas. Next up is a battle between two bolters of the draft class, Bailey Humphrey and Reuben Ginbey.

>> TOP 50 RANKED: November Power Rankings


Midfielder, Forward

Bailey Humphrey

Height: 185cm

Weight: 86kg

DOB: 11-09-2004

Reuben Ginbey
East Perth-logoEast PerthDefender, Inside Midfielder

Reuben Ginbey

Height: 189cm

Weight: 82kg

DOB: 10-09-2004



June: NR | July: NR | August: #18 | September: #10 | October: #7 | November: #7


June: NR | July: NR | August: #16 | September: #13 | October: #14 | November: #12



2022 NAB League

11 games | 19.8 disposals | 5.7 marks | 4.6 tackles | 4.2 clearances | 4.5 inside 50s | 1.9 goals (21 total)


2022 U18 National Championships

4 games | 20.8 disposals | 2.8 marks | 4.0 tackles | 2.8 clearances | 2.8 inside 50s | 0.3 goals (1 total)



2022 NAB League Round 14
Gippsland Power 20.20 (140) def. Northern Knights 6.4 (40)

Stats: 31 disposals, 12 marks, 5 tackles, 3 inside 50s, 4 goals, 5 behinds

Our scouts said…

“The returning Gippsland Power skipper had himself a day out, and was a clear best on ground in the 100-point win. Playing predominantly forward and rotating through the midfield, he showed off his power and strength in the air and on the lead, proving too strong for his opponents. The one area of his game that needs improving is that finishing capability, with Humphrey kicking 4.5… many were of the assumption that Humphrey could have finished the day with double-figure goals.”

The Northern Knights couldn’t lay a finger on Bailey Humphrey | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


2022 AFL U18 National Championships
Vic Country 12.11 (83) def. Western Australia 6.4 (40)

Stats: 23 disposals, 12 cont poss, 3 marks, 4 tackles, 3 clearances, 3 inside 50s, 1 goal

Our scouts said…

“Ginbey certainly did his first round chances no harm with a great performance running through the midfield, and working hard to impact from the defensive half of the ground. He was quick with his disposal and possesses a nice burst of speed to get out of a stoppage, something he used well to couple with his strength and bigger body. Ginbey can stand up in a tackle and give off the handball quickly, generally making good decisions, and just needing to iron out his kicking a bit more. Ginbey finished off his day with a great goal off the left inside 50 and was one of Western Australia’s best.”

Reuben Ginbey
Reuben Ginbey got his hands dirty against Vic Country | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central



+ Contested marking
+ Inside game
+ Power
+ Scoreboard impact
+ Toughness

Ginbey may have the slight height advantage, but there’s a whole lot of power in Humphrey’s game. The strongly built ball winner is tough enough to put his nose over the ball, but also possesses the class to gather cleanly before exploding away from opponents.

For a 185cm prospect, he holds up incredibly well aerially and in one-on-one duels, making him a continued threat when resting inside attacking 50. He worked hard on his marking and forward craft coming into 2022, and is a genuine midfielder-forward who compounds his clearance work with invaluable scoreboard impact.

Another, albeit intangible asset for Humphrey is his character. He skippered the Gippsland Power to a NAB League minor premiership, and recruiters quickly fell in love for what he offers off-field. He is the whole package to many clubs which quickly shot him into their top 10s.


+ Athleticism
+ Clean hands
+ Contested work
+ Size
+ Versatility

An all-round athlete and versatile footballer to boot, Ginbey is as readymade as they come. Having missed out on several state squads as a junior, his size and physical development coming into the year is what had him poised as a Round 1 senior debutant and undeniable addition to Western Australia’s Under 18 squad.

He can play, too. Ginbey impressed as Wesley’s PSA best and fairest last year across the backline, and started out there for East Perth. However, it was in representative colours where he flourished as a midfielder, translating his contested acumen well and leaning on his strong frame to take out state MVP honours. Much like Humphrey, albeit at the other end of the ground, his versatility is a massive tick. Apt aerial ability also lends to that.

Another trait shared with Humphrey is Ginbey’s leadership capabilities and character. Recruiters love players who harness natural competitiveness and the combative West Australian showed plenty of it en route to proving his top 10 potential. An eye-catching showing of his speed-endurance mix at the National Draft Combine also helped those chances.



– Finishing
– Outside game

Though damaging as it is, Humphrey could certainly compound his impact with a greater end product. He is slick by hand but often wavers by foot, particularly in front of goal. That is not to say he lacks in every kicking component, with Humphrey’s penetration by foot up there with the draft crop’s best midfielders. It’s more a case of adding composure to his technical execution.

Coming into the year, Humphrey also sought to improve his outside game. Part of that came in the form of forward craft, but the hard-nosed inside ball winner could can certainly lift his endurance base and find more ball away from the contest. It would naturally lift his numbers too, given he currently presents as a high impact 20-disposal, two-goal type of player.


– Kicking
– X-factor

Though he boasts an explosive streak and some of the best all-round athleticism among his peers, x-factor is something Ginbey could potentially add to his game. Particularly during the National Championships, he was very much a consistent and reliable type, feeding outside runners with his clean hands and dour inside game. Even as a defender, he showcased strong lockdown traits.

Sharpening up in the kicking department will inevitably boost that flair factor. Given his contested appetite, Ginbey does a lot of work under pressure and that impacts his execution by foot. Though much more effective by hand, he could become a more damaging midfielder with more composed kicking, and it would even help his case when utilised in more precarious positions behind the ball.


There is no denying that these two are high-end draft prospects who present many of the attributes recruiters look for in modern day footballers. They are explosive athletes, ruthless competitors, strong characters off the field, and can play in multiple positions. While both players can polish their kicking up, they have the traits necessary to make quick and successful transitions to the elite level. Count them in as top 10 locks.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments